Last week it caught my eyes that the term anointed priest was used in multiple verses (Vayikra 4:3, 5, 16). Here's the first one:

אִ֣ם הַכֹּהֵ֧ן הַמָּשִׁ֛יחַ יֶֽחֱטָ֖א לְאַשְׁמַ֣ת הָעָ֑ם וְהִקְרִ֡יב עַ֣ל חַטָּאתוֹ֩ אֲשֶׁ֨ר חָטָ֜א פַּ֣ר בֶּן־בָּקָ֥ר תָּמִ֛ים לַֽיהוָ֖ה לְחַטָּֽאת׃

If the anointed priest shall sin so as to bring guilt on the people, then let him offer for his sin, which he hath sinned, a young bullock without blemish unto the LORD for a sin-offering.

Initially I thought that these were special priests, but eventually all priests were anointed during the era of the Torah as this week's portion tells us (Vayikra 7:36):

אֲשֶׁר֩ צִוָּ֨ה יְהוָ֜ה לָתֵ֣ת לָהֶ֗ם בְּיוֹם֙ מָשְׁח֣וֹ אֹתָ֔ם מֵאֵ֖ת בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל חֻקַּ֥ת עוֹלָ֖ם לְדֹֽרֹתָֽם׃

Which Hashem commanded to be given them of the children of Israel, in the day that they were anointed. It is a due for ever throughout their generations.

Even Wikipedia discusses the issue. So if all priests were anointed, why was it relevant to add this word last week? If only the high priest was anointed, how can the second verse be explained?

  • 1
    7:36 seems to be talking about the first anointing - the moment from which priests were set apart. From that date, parts of sacrifices were to be given to priests (not that all later priests are anointed). As the Tur HaAroch writes, "“which on the day He ordered them to be anointed, He made their appointment permanent, hereditary, throughout the ages.” Ibn Ezra understands the words ביום משחו as if the Torah had written מיום משחו, “from the day He had anointed them onwards.” " Lev 4:3 is the high priest who, in any generation, is anointed. – rosends Mar 19 at 10:27
  • 1
    @rosends So you think that Aaron and his 4 sons were anointed, and later on only the kohen gadol? Don't you expand your comment into an answer? – Kazi bácsi Mar 19 at 10:56

You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .